Miss. governor: No local bans on XL food portions

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — In the most obese state in the nation, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he’ll sign a new law to prevent cities or counties from banning extra-large soft drinks or requiring restaurants to list calorie counts on menus.

Some lawmakers call Senate Bill 2687 the “anti-Bloomberg” bill as a jab at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tried to limit super-size sodas.

Bryant, a Republican, says he opposes local restrictions because he sees them as “nanny state” interference into private business practices.

Health advocates urged Bryant to veto the bill, but he says it’s up to consumers, not government, to make healthful food choices.

Bloomberg said Friday on WOR radio in New York that the Mississippi bill is “ridiculous” and life expectancy in the Southern state is shorter because of obesity.